Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks~Even for Stress

I've been reading the posts all week.
Lists of blessings...beautiful words of thankfullness.
I would smile, nod, and feel a heart connection for I, too, have much to be thankful for.

Yet, rising within me..slowly and silently...came the theif.
Anxiety...stress..whatever I choose to name came.

Hosting the holiday dinner has me stressed and anxious.
Beating myself up for leaving so many things to the last minute.
Certain rooms of our home that I keep closed so the clutter doesn't overwhelm must have the doors flung open to welcome guests.

Anxiety rising.
How will this all come together by tomorrow?
The cleaning, the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning again, and the pressure to create something memorable.
A pressure that I create myself.
Anxiety rising.

Then my eyes fell on the book "A Thousand Gifts".
A book that lit me on fire last March.
A book that cracked my heart open and made me look at life in a different way.
From a place of thanksgiving...Eucharisteo.

I thumbed through the pages...reading the margin notes and Ann Voskamp's words once again.

"Anxiety has been my natural posture, my default stiffness. How I don't fold my hands in prayers...I weld them into tight fists of control.  Always control. How I refuse to relinquish worry, an identity. Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is.  And stressed, this pitched word that punctuates every conversation, is it really  my attempt to prove how indispensable I am? Or is it more? Maybe disguising my deep fears as stress seems braver somehow."

I feel this strike a chord in my heart. does this.

"Eucharisteo precedes the miracle"  

"Thanks is what builds trust"

So for today, before I begin, I want to give thanks.
I want to trust that all will be as it should.
All will go as it is meant to go.

I want to remember why I am preparing our home and a meal. 

It is to give thanks for the beautiful family and friends He has blessed me with.

It is to feel my heart expand with the laughter, the fun, the deep connections that occur while breaking bread together.  

I want everyone around me to feel that gratitude that spills from me... the joy that bubbles up.
And that will only happen, authentically, by releasing the stress...and giving thanks to Him.

I want them to be warmed and to leave carrying more than just leftovers. 

I want them carrying with them the feeling of being well loved.

Linking up with: Pour Your Heart Out


  1. Feeling our connection...I get an "extra" day this year, as the newlyweds are with his family tomorrow....I have a day off before our meal. And I'm telling you ~ I like the way this feels! "practical" for chasing anxiety is the banishment of the word "should" from my vocabulary...both spoken and mental tape vocabulary. It has helped me sooooo much! You do love your family so very deeply ~ they will leave with that in their hearts, I'm sure!

  2. I always feel the same way when we are hosting events...but it all comes together...everyone has a great time. And then it's over leaving the memories lingering until next time. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  3. I haven't hosted an event yet, but I know that it will all come together!

  4. So glad you remembered eucharisteo! Happy Thanksgiving! Grace and peace...

  5. I so understand this post! I get the same way during the holidays no matter how hard I try not to. I don't know if you have heard this song but it goes perfectly with your post, plus it is beautiful :)

  6. I hope that you were able to have a wonderful, stress-free holiday!

  7. I connect so deeply with what you have shared...anxiety is a thief, it sneaks in with great stealth and then suddenly trips over every happy, ease-full thought, knocking things left and right with a crash onto the floor of my heart. But that's the good news, that is when I can see what is really going on and politely show him/her to the door, pick up the mess and find equanimity again. (At least for a little while:-)

  8. Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving experience. So much in life to be thankful for.

  9. This is such a wonderful, beautiful post! I love how you said you want to remember *why* you are preparing. That is what it is all about, isnt' it? So happy I stopped by. I saw your comment on Linda's (Linda's Patchwork Quilt) post today and wanted to come 'meet' you! :)


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